Beyond IQ

Events

Upcoming events

    • 21 Jan 2020
    • (EST)
    • 15 Dec 2020
    • (EST)
    • 33 sessions
    • 2

    Proving the Point: A Perigon of Geometry

    Tuesdays at 3:00 pm and Thursdays at 4:30 pm Eastern for 16 weeks

    Instructor: Lisa Fontaine-Rainen

    What happens when you make that point?  What if you draw this line in the sand?  Geometry may sound a lot like arguing, but the deductive logic behind it makes those arguments, well, pointless.

    Proving the Point: A Perigon of Geometry is an advanced, fast-paced high-school level geometry course that encourages deep understanding of geometric concepts, with an emphasis on Euclidean geometry, and deductive reasoning to construct proofs.  We will be working on completing a full Geometry curriculum in 16 weeks.

    The course is designed to meet the needs of gifted and twice exceptional students ready to tackle high school geometry.  In response to the needs of these students, the course is designed to be flexible and responsive – thinking, learning, and engagement take precedence over all else.  With this in mind, the syllabus may change based on the needs of the students.

    This course will weave Geometry: Seeing, Doing, Understanding by Harold Jacobs with Art of Problem Solving’s Introduction to Geometry.  Students are encouraged to have access to both texts – please contact the instructor directly if this is a financial hardship.

    Students will need to do homework outside of class to ensure we can keep up the pace.  This will include in-depth problems, simple exercises, proofs, quizzes and tests, and projects.  Work will be modified based on the learning needs of each student, and opportunities for further exploration will usually be provided.  Grades are optional – learning is constant.

    Syllabus:

    Week 1: Introduction to Geometry

    Week 2: Introduction to Deductive Reasoning

    Week 3: Lines and Angles – an introduction to construction

    Week 4: Congruence – Triangles and Constructions

    Week 5: Inequalities in Geometry

    Week 6: Parallel Lines and Proofs

    Week 7: Quadrilaterals

    Week 8: Transformations

    Week 9: Area

    Week 10: Similarity

    Week 11: The Right Triangle – an introduction to Trigonometry

    Week 12: Circles

    Week 13: Concurrence Theorems

    Week 14: Regular Polygons

    Week 15: Geometric Solids

    Week 16: Non-Euclidean Geometries

    • 24 Aug 2020
    • (EDT)
    • 14 Dec 2020
    • (EST)
    • 16 sessions
    • Online
    • 13
    Register

    Mondays, 11:00 am -12:15 pm Eastern until November 2nd (when DST ends), then 10:00am 11:15 am, 16 weeks

    So, you want a description of what SRT:HPMOR Part 3 is going to be about?

    It’s going to be about so much awesomeness.

    It’s going to be about getting through 800+ pages of the material.

    It’s going to be about the answers to all the questions that have been bothering you – and also seeing how much we can answer ourselves, not just by our pattern completion abilities, not just because we can pretend to be wise, but because we can think rationally and therefore see what Harry will do, what the author will craft, and why.

    We will continue to explore the role of Hermione and the role of women in general, trying to decide whether this work is feminist or failing at that goal. 

    We will continue to delve deeply into the characters of Harry, Quirrell, Dumbledore, Malfoy, and others.

    And we’ll keep attacking the science, the rationality, and work on growing as rationalists ourselves.

    Once all has been answered, we’ll piece the puzzle together and see how it all fits.

    Class will meet for 16 sessions.

    All times are U.S. East Coast.   We will take a break on November 25th for Thanksgiving week.

    Students will have access to class recordings the day after each class.

    Science is not just discovery, it is self-discovery.

    Syllabus

    Day 1: Hesitation is always easy

    Book 4, chapters 1-5 (65-69)

    Introduction to Part 3, introduction to book 4, concept of hero, self-actualization, observation in quantum mechanics, spatial visualization, cost/benefit of fame, plenty of character and plot analysis.

    Day 2: Nobody’s Sidekick

    Book 4, chapters 6-9 (70-73)

    Analysis – Quirrell’s opinion of SPHEW, women, and heroes; more analysis of heroism and its cost; role and power of protest; the void between the galaxies; moral development and dilemmas, psychology of bullying and groups, character analysis of Daphne and Tracey (as well as the usual), divination and time travel and paradoxes, parallels to current events, seeing cultures from the outside.

    Day 3: Hidden Mastermind

    Book 4, chapters 10-13 (74-77)

    Orbital calculations for Uranus and the role of Neptune; applying Bayesian probability to the situation with Hermione; experimental results of a gratitude journal; how to “cure” bullies; moral questions around evil; the painfully bad representation of girls; Harry’s definition of heroic responsibility; analysis of bullying at Hogwarts; Gandhi, Churchill, and Nazis; criminal justice revisited, analysis of the lady.

    Day 4: Bursting Fragments of Comprehension

    Book 4, chapters 14-15 (78-79)

    Archimedes and Eureka, conservation laws, supernovas and Earth’s core, radioactivity, thermodynamics, compare and contrasting our court system to the Wizengamot, crime and systems that deter crime, studies on memory (revisited), analysis of the crime, analysis of Marauder’s Map, analysis of conversation with Professor Quirrell.

    Day 5: Human Beings Can’t Live Like That

    Book 4, chapters 16-18 (80-82)

    Analysis – evil vs. emptiness, continuation of comparisons of law and court systems, Horns Effect, value of human life and moral decisions, analysis – what are the thinkers thinking about Harry?, Philip Tetlock, Utilitarian Ethicists, Consequentialism, expected utility maximization and Vladimir Lenin/French Revolution.

    Day 6: Luxury to Question

    Book 4, chapters 19-21 (end of book 4) (83-85)

    Analysis – why did Lucius do what he did?, debate on evil/”ill-doers” and intent in evil, analysis of heroism, sound and it’s effect on mental status, analysis of Quirrell’s back story, research on PTSD, Asch revisited, analysis of Quirrell and Hermione’s crime, Leo Szilard and the fission chain reaction/Fermi and graphite as a neutron moderator vs. deuterium, Knut Kaukelid, light from the moon and Polaris, molecular nanotechnology, Penrose process for extracting energy from black holes, analyzing aguamenti.

    Day 7: Supersaturated with Ways to Cheat

    Book 5, chapters 1 (86) (it's really long)

    Headline analysis, analysis of prophecy, compare and contrast Voldemorts, Information Theory, Raymond Smullyan, analysis of Voldemort’s motives, Harry’s ethics, hindsight bias, emotions and the brain, uncertain predicate referent, frustums, bias towards inaction.

    Day 8: Foundations of Reality

    Book 5, chapters 2-5 (87-90)

    Hedonics (but not Critch’s theories), training your inner pigeon, analysis of the Philosopher’s Stone creation story, psychology of flawed ideas, Douglas Hofstadter, Hermione’s ethics, evolutionary psychology and monogamy, ELIZA and AI, ecker Cube, fear of embarrassment schema, 0.3% of the speed of light, sulfuric acid, fault analysis, and my apologies about the plot development in these chapters

    Day 9: The Enemy is Smart

    Book 5, chapters 6-10 (91-95)

    Normalcy bias, Tenerife airport disaster, comparing Harry to his adoptive father, diabolus ex machina, egocentric bias, Law of the Excluded Middle, rhodospin complexes of the retina, neural spikes, photos, magic and belief analysis, main-sequence g-type stars, origin of story in culture, origins of life on earth

    Day 10: Note of Grace

    Book 5, chapters 11-14 (end of book 5) (96-99)

    Five stages of grief, hypothesis forming regarding Hermione, polonium, freezing points of acids, grace notes, lots of plot discussion and catching up on topics that may bleed over from previous days.

    Day 11: Continuing to Fight (or Throw Away the Cheese)

    Book 6, chapters 1-4 (100-103) DO NOT READ AHEAD

    Probability and directionality, ethics – animals and medicine, scope insensitivity reviewed, horcrux analysis, analysis of Philosopher’s Stones potential powers, opposite of happiness, comparing Avada Kedavra to Expecto Patronum, test and critiques of them

    Day 12: Silence Stretched

    Book 6, chapter 5-9 (104-108)

    An analysis of what we learn, truncated tetrahedron, Schelling point, prophecy analysis again, tomb of Amon-Set, ethic of Batman, arc-welders, Az-reth, Tsiolkovsky rocket equation, ad hominem tu quoque, Mao’s little red book, in-depth character analysis

    Day 13: Prophesied Instrument of Destruction

    Book 6, chapters 10-14 (109-113) DO NOT READ AHEAD

    The inscription, possible ideas about uses of the mirror, analysis about Dumbledore’s future, motive analysis, more analysis of evil, analysis of the vow, Final Exam analysis

    Day 14: Their Own Image

    Book 6, chapters 15-20 (114-119)

    Fence post security, final analysis of evil, examination of alternatives, analysis of effects of spell, oxycetelene and weather balloons, types of knowledge, speed of sound vs broomstick speed, mylar and its uses, analysis of Dumbledore’s story, negatively charged strangelets

    Day 15: Own Decisions

    Book 6, chapters 21-23 (end of book 6), 120-122 (end of book)

    Analysis of Narcissa’s story – is Dumbledore good or evil?   Motivated cognition, Daniel Kahneman, catching up on any content we’ve not finished yet.

    Day 16: Practicing the Techniques you have Learned

    Looking back, sharing work, next steps


    • 24 Aug 2020
    • (EDT)
    • 07 Dec 2020
    • (EST)
    • 15 sessions
    • On Line
    • 8

    Lisa Fontaine-Rainen, instructor

    Mondays, 12:30 pm - 1:45 pm Eastern, 15 weeks.  Class will meet on Labor Day and Columbus Day, but not Yom Kippur (September 28).

    Why is religion so central to the human experience?  How does it sway our decision making?  Would a future world necessarily have religion?  Why do we tend to raise up religious leaders and look to them for answers?  

    How does one stop a populist leader?

    Can an AI outgrow its programming?


    In Arc of Scythe 3: The Toll we return again to the world of Scythe and Thunderhead and begin to answer the questions: What's next?  How do you stop Goddard?  How can humanity grow in a stagnant world without death?  Is Goddard perhaps the answer to that?

     

    Syllabus is forthcoming.



    • 24 Aug 2020
    • 12:30 PM (EDT)
    • 07 Dec 2020
    • 1:45 PM (EST)
    • On Line
    • 11
    Register

    Lisa Fontaine-Rainen, instructor

    Mondays, 12:30 pm - 1:45 pm Eastern, 15 weeks.  Class will meet on Labor Day and Columbus Day, but not Yom Kippur (September 28).

    Why is religion so central to the human experience?  How does it sway our decision making?  Would a future world necessarily have religion?  Why do we tend to raise up religious leaders and look to them for answers?  

    How does one stop a populist leader?

    Can an AI outgrow its programming?


    In Arc of Scythe 3: The Toll we return again to the world of Scythe and Thunderhead and begin to answer the questions: What's next?  How do you stop Goddard?  How can humanity grow in a stagnant world without death?  Is Goddard perhaps the answer to that?

     

    Syllabus is forthcoming.



    • 25 Aug 2020
    • (EDT)
    • 22 Dec 2020
    • (EST)
    • 18 sessions
    • Online
    • 10

    Instructor: Trina Overgaard Toups
    5-10 students
    Suggested Age Ranges: 12-17
    Meets: Tuesdays, 4:00 pm - 5:30 pm Eastern Time

    DESCRIPTION

    High School Chemistry for Gifted Homeschoolers

    Is your student ready for a systematic study of science? Going beyond the wow factor of videos and games, we will embark on a tour of general chemistry appropriate for honors chemistry high school students. The complete course will be two full semesters. 


    StudentsIt is expected that the students for this will approximately fit the following profile:

    1. Gifted Students in the age range 12-17.

    2. Eager and excited to learn about science, and discuss it with peers.

    3. Comfortable with math, and probably have completed Algebra I.

    4. Able to commit to out of class work in the neighborhood of up to 3-4 hours per week.

    5. Willing to be guided to learn rather than led through all details.

    6. Able to respect the pace of the classroom setting, which will move quickly, and limit participation to on-topic matters.

    7. Realize that chemistry builds upon prior knowledge, and try to stay current with the material.

    MaterialsFamilies will be requested to provide a calculator, pencil, and paper every session. Textbook will be an online text for $75 which also includes interactive modules for learning. Cost covers 720 days of usage. Source: https://digital.wwnorton.com/chem5SAT supplemental materials will be workbooks which can be purchased for moderate costs.


    CurriculumThe curriculum will consist of a full year course such as would be offered as honors chemistry, or perhaps AP chemistry in high schools. Students will be expected and encouraged to continue learning each section through further course materials and assignments provided by the instructor. Assignments will not have undue repetition or drudgery, but should be taken seriously by the student and family for effective learning.  Documentation of material covered and certification of participation will be provided for students who wish to use such to attain credit from institutions. Students and parents who wish this option should be diligent in keeping records of student work. 



    • 27 Aug 2020
    • (EDT)
    • 12 Nov 2020
    • (EST)
    • 12 sessions
    • On Line
    • 10
    Register

    Lisa Fontaine-Rainen, instructor

    Thursdays, 11:00 am - 12:15 pm Eastern, for 12 weeks

    Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality is a fanfic that begins with the premise that Harry’s aunt Petunia marries an Oxford chemistry professor (rather than Vernon Dursley) and Harry is homeschooled – and has a particular talent for scientific thinking.  Thus the 1600 page fan-fiction re-envisions the Harry Potter story through the lens of a child who engages in scientific and rational thinking.  

    And here’s a bit of honesty.  I don’t read fanfic.  I don’t begrudge it for those who love it – I think it’s a great way to get writing or to explore ideas, but I generally don’t read it myself.  I don’t want to see changes to stories I love.  I had to be dragged into reading this one. 

    And I don’t regret it one bit.  Even if you’re like me and not into fanfic, this one’s worth it.  This one makes me think.  It lets me move through the world I love, examine it through a different lens, laugh at its quirks, love it all the more, and become a better scientist.  Not only do I hope to share it with you, I hope to bring you deeper into the thinking, exploring the story and the premise fully to help you also think rationally, like this version of Harry. 


    In this course we will read the first  “book” of the work and explore the various scientific ideas introduced in the text.  We’ll talk about Harry’s approach to the world, and where it might get in his way.  Our course will weave literature and science, as they have been woven in this text.  We’ll also ask the question about the changes made from the original text – which were driven by an intent to steep the main character in scientific thought and which were not.  Thus, having at least some knowledge of the original Harry Potter texts, or at least the movies, is useful for this course. 

    Some of the ideas presented in the text can be quite dark – much like the original books, but sometimes even more so.  Parents are encouraged to read chapter 1 to get a flavor for the text, and chapter 7 (starting around page 85) as it contains some of the most troubling material that we will address in this class.   Alternatively, feel free to e-mail me directly for excerpts to review, and I’m happy to discuss the content as well. 

    Participants will have the opportunity to engage in a number of assignments that explore the ideas in the course.  These will be flexible and tailored to participants’ interests and abilities.  Other work will be primarily reading the book and supplementary material and participating in discussions in and out of class.  The book is available online for e-readers or to print and as podcasts, all at no cost. 

    Science isn’t a set of facts, but instead a way of thinking.  Come explore the science and the magic of this world.

    All times are U.S. East Coast.   

    Students will have access to class recordings the day after each class.

    Syllabus

    Day 1: Why do I believe what I believe? 

    Introduction to Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality (HPMOR), and the basic concept of a controlled experiment.   Discussion – how would the wizarding world yield to science? 

    Ch. 1, in class


    Day 2:  Cats are complicated!  or That’s the most Ravenclaw thing I have ever heard.

    Sufficient Evidence, Conservation of Energy,  Bystander Effect, conscientious objectors, intro to logarithms.

    Ch. 2, 3


    Day 3: It’s a Mathematical Thing or Shaking Hands with a Bad Explanation

                Fermi estimation and money conversion, arbitrage, seigniorage, how to make money by buying and selling money, fiscal prudence, fundamental attribution error, Occam’s Razer, and what is that hilarious thing Draco and Harry are doing anyway?

    Ch 4, 5


    Day 4: Offering an alternative explanation or Trouble Trusting Adults

    Experimentation, the Planning Fallacy, anecdotal evidence, Harry and psychology, scientifically investigating which sentences a human four year old can understand, lift, Bayes’s Theorem, social roles of children and adults.

    Ch 6


    Day 5:  Manipulating Reality or  the Trust, but Verify

    Rules of game design, psychology of reciprocation, manipulation vs. influence, social structures around privilege, politics and the French Revolution, positive or confirmation bias, what does “smart” really mean, experimental design, bystander apathy, desensitisation therapy, consequentialism.

    Ch. 7, 8


    Day 6: Being Aware of my Own Awareness or What Happens if you Fail?

    Reproductive isolation (with a  bit of Star Trek thrown in), sentience (with more Star Trek thrown in), the concept and challenge of sorting people (with a bit of Divergent thrown in), risk and failure, the problem of being placed on a pedestal, an examination of Dumbledore and Quirrell in this version of HP

    Ch 9, 10, 11, Omake File 2


    Day 7: A Metaphor for Human Existence or Ignorant About a Phenomenon

    The Game, Escher (for the uninitiated), doing good things, bullying and psychology, apologizing, antimatter, Gutenberg, anthropic principle, Turing machines, correlation vs causation

    Ch. 12,13


    Day 8: An Unusually Pessimistic Imagination or Most Dangerous Student

    Limits and dividing by zero, competition, safety and transfiguration, comparing coursework between this HP and the other HP, ideas about education and learning, being a creative thinker

    Ch. 14,15


    Day 9: Truly Brilliant Experimental Test or A Fashion Unbecoming a Hogwarts Professor

    Paradoxes, prime numbers and encryption, P and NP, formulating a hypothesis, looking smart, authority, anger as a tool

    Ch. 16,17


    Day 10:Vitally Important Technique or Impulse to Kindness

    How to lose vs. how to fail, representative heuristic, Bayes’s Theorem, Harry’s morality, approaching new ideas, pressure of consistency, Second Law of Thermodynamics, rationalization.

    Ch. 18, 19, 20


    Day 11: A Priceless Opportunity

    Omake file 1 and 3, general discussion, touch on anything we haven’t gotten to yet, discussion of assignments so far.


    Day 12:  Oogely boogely! or Observation

    Looking forward, Chapter 22 (or Book 2, chapter 1), the scientific method, N-Rays, Philip K. Dick, reality, Lake Wobegon effect, Socratic Method, Asch’s Conformity Experiment, heritability, Alfred Tarski, Eugene Gendlin, Sharing our own stuff.




    • 27 Aug 2020
    • (EDT)
    • 10 Dec 2020
    • (EST)
    • 15 sessions
    • Online, Zoom
    • 6
    Register

    Thursdays, 1:00-2:00 pm Eastern, 15 weeks, starting August 27.

    What does math have to do with politics?  Okay, I mean, theres the obvious – votes have to be counted.  But what if we voted differently?  What if we ranked our choices?  And how many people do elected representatives actually represent anyway?  Is it fair?  Should it be?  How do congressional districts get drawn anyway? And how do those votes in Congress or Parliament or whatever representative system work anyway?  How should they work?  Do parties matter?  What does the Supreme Court have to do with any of this anyway?  What about international organizations like NATO?  Do they represent me?  If we change a system’s math, what are the political implications?  Wait, what does it mean to win an election anyway?  Are all of our elections about representative democracy, or do we have any direct democracy left?  Who made these decisions about our voting anyway, and why?

    Got any other questions?  We can add them to the mix.  This  class will examine election math – how do we choose those meant to lead and represent our interests?  What math has affected that choice before we even make it?  What mathematical issues lie at the heart of social choice?  We’ll explore voting theory, apportionment, redistricting, polling, and other intersections of mathematics, politics, and decision making.  The focus will e on US systems, but specific focus will be given to each student’s lived experience as well, and we will examine international systems.  Cross systems comparisons – such as Congress vs Parliament, will also be made.  A culminating action project, such as a letter to a representative or a proposal for a new system, will be shared on the final day of class. 

    Classes will be held weekly on Zoom.  Access to spreadsheet software (even Google sheets) is necessary, with a preference for Excel.    Some light homework will be important as homework will set up the mathematical issues to be discussed in class.

    Day 1 – introduction to Election Math

    Day 2 – Apportionment and representative democracy, cross cultural comparisons

    Day 3 – Apportionment methods 1 – historical lens

    Day 4 – Apportionment methods 2, Electoral College, the 2016 presidential election analysis

    Day 5 – District drawing and gerrymandering, an examination of the problems

    Day 6 – Redistricting using mathematics to address gerrymandering

    Day 7 -Introduction to ranked ballots

    Day 8– Ranked ballot analysis 1

    Day 9 – Ranked ballot analysis 2, Approval method of voting

    Day 10 – Cross cultural analysis – party systems,  government design, and voting, international systems

    Day 11 –Voter turnout issues and democracy

    Day 12 – Local politics and local elections

    Day 13 – The court system and voting

    Day 14 – Polling issues

    Day 15 – Sharing of action projects


    Class will not meet on US Thanksgiving, November 26.

    • 27 Aug 2020
    • (EDT)
    • 17 Dec 2020
    • (EST)
    • 17 sessions
    • Online
    • 10

    Instructor: Trina Overgaard Toups
    5-10 students
    Suggested Age Ranges: 12-17
    Meets: Thursdays, 4:00 pm - 5:30 pm Eastern Time

    DESCRIPTION

    High School Chemistry for Gifted Homeschoolers

    Is your student ready for a systematic study of science? Going beyond the wow factor of videos and games, we will embark on a tour of general chemistry appropriate for honors chemistry high school students. The complete course will be two full semesters. 


    StudentsIt is expected that the students for this will approximately fit the following profile:

    1. Gifted Students in the age range 12-17.

    2. Eager and excited to learn about science, and discuss it with peers.

    3. Comfortable with math, and probably have completed Algebra I.

    4. Able to commit to out of class work in the neighborhood of up to 3-4 hours per week.

    5. Willing to be guided to learn rather than led through all details.

    6. Able to respect the pace of the classroom setting, which will move quickly, and limit participation to on-topic matters.

    7. Realize that chemistry builds upon prior knowledge, and try to stay current with the material.

    MaterialsFamilies will be requested to provide a calculator, pencil, and paper every session. Textbook will be an online text for $75 which also includes interactive modules for learning. Cost covers 720 days of usage. Source: https://digital.wwnorton.com/chem5SAT supplemental materials will be workbooks which can be purchased for moderate costs.


    CurriculumThe curriculum will consist of a full year course such as would be offered as honors chemistry, or perhaps AP chemistry in high schools. Students will be expected and encouraged to continue learning each section through further course materials and assignments provided by the instructor. Assignments will not have undue repetition or drudgery, but should be taken seriously by the student and family for effective learning.  Documentation of material covered and certification of participation will be provided for students who wish to use such to attain credit from institutions. Students and parents who wish this option should be diligent in keeping records of student work. 



    • 28 Aug 2020
    • (EDT)
    • 18 Dec 2020
    • (EST)
    • 15 sessions
    • online
    • 10
    Register

    InstructorSherene Raisbeck
    4 students MAXIMUM
    Suggested Ages: enrollment based on ability not age.
    Meets: 10:00am - 11:00am,  Eastern Time

    DESCRIPTION

    This is an opportunity for students working on elementary mathematical concepts (addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, fractions, decimals, elementary geometry, and number patterns) to access tutoring in a small group.  Your student may attend any or all of the 15 hours over the term for fixed rate. Maximum enrollment of 4 students per session.

    We will use a variety of math manipulatives to demonstrate concepts. I own a wide variety of curricula, but feel free to check to see if I own the one your student is using.

    $325; GHF, SENG, MAGE, and NHAGE Members pay $310! Single sessions $25,  subject to availability.

    We accept charter school funds


    • 28 Aug 2020
    • (EDT)
    • 18 Dec 2020
    • (EST)
    • 15 sessions
    • online
    • 5
    Registration is closed

    InstructorSherene Raisbeck
    5-10 students
    Suggested Ages: 8-12
    Meets: 11:30am - 1:00pm,  Eastern Time

    NOTE: In the past, this course has been offered over two terms. We plan to offer it as a single term course with sessions running 75-90 minutes. We believe this better meets the needs of our gifted students.

    DESCRIPTION

    Newton at the Center is the second of three works by Joy Hakim that present the major scientific innovations within the context of major works produced by Aristotle, Newton, Einstein, and progress which continues in theoretical physics.

    Learning how to make accurate and useful observations, investigate ideas, evaluate sources, and find out what’s really true, are important skills for scholars in all fields of endeavor.

    Students in Newton at the Center continue to develop their understanding of the historical context and great experiments of the world’s innovators.

    As the second part of The Story of Science series, Newton at the Center builds on the foundation set forward in the course Aristotle Leads the Way and prepares the student for Einstein Adds a New Dimension (although the courses can be taken in any order). From the Copernican Revolution to the Renaissance to the Curies, from the discovery of the planetary system to radiation, Newton at the Center brings students through major discoveries in classical science, integrating the major themes of scientific analysis, evidence, and reasoning with the framework of history and the humanities to establish a solid scaffold for later studies. 

    Over the course of the term, we will weigh the earth, discover the invisible, and we will explore the tiny scale of the atom and the vastness of the universe. We will build the scaffold for later studies in science and other endeavors.

    Tests, homework, and grades are provided optionally and may be graded at home or by the instructor. We fully support 2e students and will tailor testing, homework, and class participation so that it is low stress and meaningful for each student. Students need to be able to do simple multiplication with fractions and ratios.

    This is a 1 semester course!  While some experiments are repeated from the Einstein and Aristotle courses, students will encounter them on a different level. These courses do NOT need to be taken in a particular order.

    Find the Newton at the Center book here.

    Please note that this is a one semester course. 

    SYLLABUS

    Fall semester

    1.      Off-Center? It Can’t Be!
    2.      A New Age: Bringing New Ways of Seeing
    3.      On Revolutions and Fools
    4.      Tycho Brahe: Taking Heaven’s Measure
    5.      Renaissance Men
    6.      Gazing at a Star Named Galileo
    7.      Moving Relatively or Relatively Moving?
    8.      Are Novas Really “New”Stars? As to Supernovas – Wow!
    9.      Moving the Sun and the Earth
    10.  Do You Think You Have Troubles?
    11.  Poor Kepler
    12.  Descartes and His Coordinates
    13.  What’s the Big Attraction?
    14.  Gravity – How Absurd!
    15.  Newton Sees the Light
    16.  Newton Moves
    17.  Fame Finds Newton
    18.  A Dane Lights the Way
    19.  What’s the Matter? (About Elements and Alchemy)
    20.  Robert Boyle, Skeptic – or Airhead?
    21.  Daniel and the Old Lion Hunter
    22.  Brains and Beauty Squared
    23.  It’s a Gas! Take Its Temperature!
    24.  Weighing the World
    25.  The Right Man for the Job
    26.  A Man with a Powerful Head
    27.  Dalton Takes Us Back to Greece – and Atoms
    28.  A Molecule-and-Number Man
    29.  Putting Things in Order
    30.  The Heated Story of an American Spy
    31.  A Shocking Science
    32.  Michael Faraday Has a Field Day
    33.  Maxwell’s Changes
    34.  Building Boltzmann
    35.  Wake Up!  This Is About Work, Which Takes Energy
    36.  A Number-One Law, Thermodynamically Speaking
    37.  Obeying the (Second) Law
    38.  Tying Down a Demon
    39.  Nothing to Do?
    40. 
    Wrapping up and Getting Ready

     

    $365; GHF, SENG, MAGE, and NHAGE Members pay $350!

    We accept charter school funds


    • 28 Aug 2020
    • (EDT)
    • 18 Dec 2020
    • (EST)
    • 15 sessions
    • online
    • 3
    Register

    InstructorSherene Raisbeck
    4 students MAXIMUM
    Suggested Ages: enrollment based on ability, not age
    Meets: 1:15 pm - 2:15 pm,  Eastern Time

    DESCRIPTION

    This is an opportunity for students working on secondary mathematical concepts (pre-algebra, algebra, geometry & pre-calculus) to access tutoring in a small group.  Your student may attend any or all of the 15 hours over the term for fixed rate. Maximum enrollment of 4 students per session.

    I own a wide variety of curricula, but feel free to check to see if I own the one your student is using.

    $325; GHF, SENG, MAGE, and NHAGE Members pay $310! Single sessions $25,  subject to availability.

    We accept charter school funds


    • 28 Aug 2020
    • (EDT)
    • 18 Dec 2020
    • (EST)
    • 15 sessions
    • online
    • 3
    Registration is closed

    InstructorSherene Raisbeck
    5-10 students
    Suggested Ages: 10-15
    Meets: Fridays 2:30pm - 3:30pm,  Eastern Time

    $325; GHF, SENG, MAGE, and NHAGE Members pay $310!

    We accept charter school funds

    DESCRIPTION

    We will be using the book Thinking Physics, but I recommend that students NOT purchase the book before taking the course. This is an introduction to conceptual physics which does not require much math and absolutely does not require calculus. Because one of the main goals is to develop accurate physics intuition, our discussions of the problems will acknowledge and discuss common errors of thinking while we develop the conceptual tools necessary for later application of mathematical tools to solving physics problems. No homework though your student may beg to have the book after they have completed the course!

    Find Thinking Physics at your library, your favorite bookseller, or here.

    SYLLABUS

    Problem based discussion course, we will not discuss every problem in the book, but we will discuss a sampling from all topic areas.

    Topics:
    Kinematics
    Newton's Laws of Motion
    Momentum and Energy
    Rotation
    Gravity
    Fluids
    Heat
    Vibrations
    Light
    Electricity & Magnetism
    Relativity
    Quanta


    • 28 Aug 2020
    • (EDT)
    • 21 Dec 2020
    • (EST)
    • 30 sessions
    • online
    • 8
    Registration is closed

    InstructorSherene Raisbeck
    5-10 students
    Suggested Ages: 7 - 10
    Meets:  Mondays and Fridays 3:45 pm - 4:30 pm,  Eastern Time

    DESCRIPTION

    Real algebra for young students. We will use rigorous mathematical explanations to explore algebra’s real world applications. What will not do is require lots of problem sets, or formal proof. If your student is comfortable with arithmetic operations, fractions, decimals, and place value and is ready to move on, please join us.

    Required text: Real World Algebra, Ed Zaccaro
    Optional: Hands On Equations. I use manipulatives and models for all levels of mathematics instruction and this is a nice tool to have for those children who enjoy concrete models.

    WEEK 1: August 28, 2020
    Introduction and Chapter 1: Language of Algebra

    WEEK 2: August 31, 2020 and September 11, 2020
    Chapter 2: Solving Equations
    Chapter 3: Using Algebra to Solve Problems

    WEEK 3:  September 14, 2020 and September 18, 2020
    Chapter 4: Negative Numbers
    Chapter 5: Distributive Property

    WEEK 4:  September 21, 2020 and September 25, 2020
    Chapter 6: Algebra and Proportions

    WEEK 5: NO MONDAY meeting and October 2, 2020
    Chapter 7: Algebra and Percents

    WEEK 6: October 5, 2020 and October 9, 2020
    Chapter 8: Exponents, Radicals, and Scientific Notation

    WEEK 7: October 12, 2020 and October 16, 2020
    Chapter 9: Pythagorean Theorem

    WEEK 8: October 19, 2020 and October 23, 2020
    Chapter 10: Geometry and Algebra
    Chapter 11: Algebra and Levers

    WEEK 9: October 26, 2020 and October 30, 2020
    Chapter 12: Algebra and Money
    Chapter 13: Distance = Rate x Time

    WEEK 10: November 2, 2020 and November 6, 2020
    Chapter 14: Different Kind of Average
    Chapter 15: Distance = Rate x Time (advanced)

    WEEK 11: November 9, 2020 and November 13, 2020
    Chapter 16 Work = Rate x Time

    WEEK 12: November 16, 2020 and November 20, 2020
    Chapter 17: Simultaneous Equations

    WEEK 13: November 30, 2020 and December 4, 2020
    Chapter 18: Fun with Variables
    Chapter 19: Order of Operations

    WEEK 14: December 7, 2020 and December 11, 2020
    Chapter 20: Fun with Formulas
    Chapter 21: Function Machines

    WEEK 15: December 14, 2020 and December 18, 2020
    Chapter 22: Math Contests

    WEEK 15a: December 21, 2020
    Wrap up and how to move forward in math

    $325; GHF, SENG, MAGE, and NHAGE Members pay $310! Single sessions $25,  subject to availability.

    We accept charter school funds


    • 28 Aug 2020
    • (EDT)
    • 18 Dec 2020
    • (EST)
    • 15 sessions
    • online
    • 9
    Registration is closed

    Instructor: Sherene Raisbeck

    Fridays, 6:00pm - 7:30pm, starting August 28th

    Hey! I'm supposed to be getting $10/hour! How come my check is for $287.46? You need HOW MUCH?!? to retire? Can I really save a million dollars?!? I found a great apartment and awesome roommates! Can I afford it? What should I know about my roommates? They seem nice and that's enough, right? Taxes? Everyone is talking about what they are doing with their refund, how do I get mine? What do you mean my account is overdrawn? I still have checks! 

    These topics and many more will be covered as we touch on all the ways money affects the lives of responsible (and irresponsible) adults. We will talk about earning, saving, spending and investing $$$$. Budgets, borrowing, credit reports, taxes, retirement accounts, charitable giving, etc. Job applications to rental agreements we'll talk about the $$. We'll work with real world numbers for several different life stages and economic classes. All ages welcome, adults too! Please sign up for a class with your age range as I do have a somewhat different focus with students 14 and younger than with those closer to financial independence.

    No textbooks for this course, but there will be assigned online or shared readings and suggested books for students' free time.

    $475; GHF, SENG, MAGE, and NHAGE Members pay $460!


    • 28 Aug 2020
    • (EDT)
    • 18 Dec 2020
    • (EST)
    • 15 sessions
    • online
    • 9
    Registration is closed

    InstructorSherene Raisbeck
    5-10 students
    Suggested Ages: 13-18
    Meets:  Fridays 1:15 pm - 2:15 pm,  Eastern Time

    DESCRIPTION

    Using both a textbook and videos from Crash Course, we will gain an understanding of what sociology is, and how it can help us understand our world.

    You May Ask Yourself, Dalton Conley. 5th or 6th edition - not the "core" edition of either, as it is missing chapters we'll be covering. Buying the 6th new will give you access to online materials that are not planned for the course, but may be of value, depending on personal goals.

    Crash Course Sociology

    WEEK 1: August 28, 2020
    Crash Course episodes 0-2
    Chapter 1 The Sociological Imagination

    WEEK 2: September 11, 2020
    Crash Course episodes 3-5
    Chapter 2: Methods
    Chapter 3: Culture and Media

    WEEK 3: September 18, 2020
    Crash Course episodes 6-8
    Chapter 18 Collective Action, Social Movements, and Social Change

    WEEK 4: September 25, 2020
    Crash Course episodes 9-12
    Chapter 5: Groups and Networks

    WEEK 5: October 2, 2020
    Crash Course episodes 13-15
    Chapter 4 Socialization and the Construction of Reality

    WEEK 6: October 9, 2020
    Crash Course episodes 16-18
    Chapter 16: Religion

    WEEK 7: October 16, 2020
    Crash Course episodes 19-21
    Chapter 6: Social Control and Deviance

    WEEK 8: October 23, 2020
    Crash Course episodes 22-24
    Chapter 7: Stratification

    WEEK 9: October 30, 2020
    Crash Course episodes 25-27
    Chapter 10: Poverty

    WEEK 10: November 6, 2020
    Crash Course episodes 28-30
    Chapter 14: Capitalism and the Economy
    Chapter 15: Authority and the State

    WEEK 11: November 13, 2020
    Crash Course episodes 31-33
    Chapter 8 Gender

    WEEK 12: November 20, 2020
    Crash Course episodes 34-36
    Chapter 9: Race

    WEEK 13: December 4, 2020
    Crash Course episodes 37
    Chapter 12: Family

    WEEK 14: December 11, 2020
    Project Presentations

    WEEK 15: December 18, 2020
    Project Presentations

    $325; GHF, SENG, MAGE, and NHAGE Members pay $310!

    We accept charter school funds


    • 31 Aug 2020
    • (EDT)
    • 21 Dec 2020
    • (EST)
    • 15 sessions
    • online
    • 10

    InstructorSherene Raisbeck
    5-10 students
    Suggested Ages: 8 to 13
    Meets:  Mondays 11:00 am - 12:00 pm,  Eastern Time

    DESCRIPTION

    We will discuss our reading of Sophie's World each week. It is critical that students come to each class meeting having read the assigned chapters. We will utilize examples of philosophical dilemmas from student's daily lives wherever possible. 

    WEEK 1: August 31, 2020
    The Garden of Eden
    The Top Hat
    The Myths
    The Natural Philosophers

    WEEK 2: September 14, 2020
    Democratus
    Fate
    Socrates
    Athens

    WEEK 3: September 21, 2020
    Plato
    The Major’s Cabin
    Aristotle

    WEEK 4: October 5, 2020
    Hellenism
    The Postcards
    Two Cultures

    WEEK 5: October 12, 2020
    The Middle Ages
    The Renaisssance

    WEEK 6: October 19, 2020
    The Baroque
    Descartes
    Spinoza

    WEEK 7: October 26, 2020
    Locke
    Hume
    Berkeley

    WEEK 8: November 2, 2020
    Bjerkley
    The Enlightenment

    WEEK 9: November 9, 2020
    Kant
    Romanticism

    WEEK 10: November 16, 2020
    Hegel
    Kierkegaard
    Marx

    WEEK 11: November 23, 2020
    Darwin
    Freud

    WEEK 12: November 30, 2020
    Our Own Time
    The Garden Party

    WEEK 13: December 7, 2020
    Counterpoint
    The Big Bang

    WEEK 14: December 14, 2020
    Project sharing

    WEEK 15: December 21, 2020
    Review, wrap up, and where to dig deeper

    $325; GHF, SENG, MAGE, and NHAGE Members pay $310! 

    We accept charter school funds


    • 31 Aug 2020
    • (EDT)
    • 21 Dec 2020
    • (EST)
    • 15 sessions
    • online
    • 10

    InstructorSherene Raisbeck
    5-10 students
    Suggested Ages: 4 - 8
    Meets:  Mondays 1:30 pm - 2:15 pm,  Eastern Time

    DESCRIPTION

    Each week we will read carefully selected high quality math literature, play a math game, and do some group problem solving. Math manipulatives are key to helping little hands understand big mathematical concepts. Optional manipulative kits are available, please inquire. We will learn about square numbers, very large numbers, and get lots of practice translating real problems into mathematical language.

    $250; GHF, SENG, MAGE, and NHAGE Members pay $235! 

    We accept charter school funds


    • 31 Aug 2020
    • (EDT)
    • 21 Dec 2020
    • (EST)
    • 15 sessions
    • online
    • 10

    InstructorSherene Raisbeck
    5-10 students
    Suggested Ages: 8 - 13
    Meets:  Mondays 2:30 pm - 3:30 pm,  Eastern Time

    DESCRIPTION

    This is an intensive US history course for late elementary and early middle school students. We will read a great deal of material (audio available) and students must have done that reading/listening to get the most out of our class discussions.

    We will move quickly through the first half of The History of US and use both A Young Person’s History and the primary sources from Gilder Lerhman to enhance our understanding of US History.

    Many resources will be provided for students who wish to engage in project work, and summative assessments are also available for those students who wish to assess their learning that way. Directed writing assignments for interested students are available, please ask if you would like this option.

    Students completing both part 1 and part 2 will be well prepared for high school level US History.

    The History of US, Joy Hakim, available in audio editions
    A Young Person’s History of the US, Howard Zinn

    WEEK 1: August 31, 2020
    The First Americans: Chapters 1-12

    WEEK 2: September 14, 2020
    The First Americans: Chapters 13-24

    WEEK 3: September 21, 2020
    The First Americans: Chapters 25-39

    WEEK 4: October 5, 2020
    Making Thirteen Colonies: Chapters 1-16

    WEEK 5: October 12, 2020
    Making Thirteen Colonies: Chapters 17-29

    WEEK 6: October 19, 2020
    Making Thirteen Colonies: Chapters 30-42

    WEEK 7: October 26, 2020
    From Colonies to Country: Chapters 1-15

    WEEK 8: November 2, 2020
    From Colonies to Country: Chapters 16-28

    WEEK 9: November 9, 2020
    From Colonies to Country: Chapters 29-42

    WEEK 10: November 16, 2020
    The New Nation: Chapters 1-14

    WEEK 11: November 23, 2020
    The New Nation: Chapters 15-23

    WEEK 12: November 30, 2020
    The New Nation: Chapters 24- 36

    WEEK 13: December 7, 2020
    Liberty for All: Chapters 1-12

    WEEK 14: December 14, 2020
    Liberty for All: Chapters 13-26

    WEEK 15: December 21, 2020
    Liberty for All: Chapters 27-38

    $325; GHF, SENG, MAGE, and NHAGE Members pay $310! 

    We accept charter school funds


    • 31 Aug 2020
    • (EDT)
    • 21 Dec 2020
    • (EST)
    • 17 sessions
    • online
    • 7
    Registration is closed

    Language Arts
    InstructorJosh Shaine
    5-10 students
    Suggested Ages: 11-15 years old
    Meets: Mondays, 5 - 6 PM, Eastern, starting Aug. 31st

    CLASS DESCRIPTION:

    Did you love the Rick Riordan books about the Gods of Greece, Rome, and the Norse? Do you wonder what other cultures might have for deities? In this class we will learn about the traditions of many other cultures, dividing the semester into studies of ten or more mythic systems. We will read sections from the Bhagavad Gita (Song of God), and the Sumerian Epic of Gilgamesh, along with many others. At the end of the course students will have the opportunity to use their creativity to retell a myth from one of these traditions or to create their own pantheon of Gods and Goddesses.

    SYLLABUS:

    Session 1: Introduction: "More Gods and Goddesses than you can shake a stick at!"

    Session 2: Egyptian

    Session 3: Sumerian

    Session 4: Caananite

    Session 5: Babylonian

    Session 6: Hindu

    Session 7: Building Religion

    Session 8: Chinese

    Session 9: Japanese

    Session 10: Aztec

    Session 11: Mayan

    Session 12: African (Part 1)

    Session 13: African (Part 2)

    Session 14: Comparison and Contrast

    Session 15: Class Presentations


    Specific sessions may change based on students' interests.

    • 31 Aug 2020
    • (EDT)
    • 21 Dec 2020
    • (EST)
    • 15 sessions
    • online
    • 10

    InstructorSherene Raisbeck
    5-10 students
    Suggested Ages: enrollment based on ability, not age
    Meets:  Mondays 6:00 pm - 7:00 pm,  Eastern Time

    DESCRIPTION

    We will work each week on problems from previous contests. We will discuss a variety of strategies for solving the contest problems, as well as test taking strategies to maximize your score on the AMC 8 or AMC 10. Please note that since this is a virtual class, we will not be able to help you participate in the contest by providing a contest site. We will help you find a local opportunity to participate if you would like, and we welcome those who will be participating in either contest through their school or homeschool coop.

    Those who simply enjoy solving challenging math problems should consider this course, even if they have no desire or intent to participate in either contest. The AMC 8 contest is available to students in grades 6, 7 & 8 ONLY. The AMC 10 contest is available to students in grade 10 or below ONLY. 

    Grade levels above are dictated by AMC for the contests, any interested and able student is welcome to participate in the club

    AMC 8 half term

    WEEK 1: August 31, 2020
    WEEK 2: September 14, 2020
    WEEK 3: September 21, 2020
    WEEK 4: October 5, 2020 Mock Test Practice
    WEEK 5: October 12, 2020
    WEEK 6: October 19, 2020
    WEEK 7: October 26, 2020
    WEEK 8: November 2, 2020

    AMC 10 half term

    WEEK 9: November 9, 2020
    WEEK 10: November 16, 2020
    WEEK 11: November 23, 2020 Mock Test Practice
    WEEK 12: November 30, 2020
    WEEK 13: December 7, 2020
    WEEK 14: December 14, 2020
    WEEK 15: December 21, 2020
    WEEK 16: tbd early January 2021

    $325; GHF, SENG, MAGE, and NHAGE Members pay $310! Single sessions $25,  subject to availability.

    We accept charter school funds


    • 31 Aug 2020
    • (EDT)
    • 22 Dec 2020
    • (EST)
    • 15 sessions
    • online
    • 10

    InstructorSherene Raisbeck
    5-10 students
    Suggested Ages: 12 - 18
    Meets: Mondays 7:15 pm - 8:15 pm,  Eastern Time

    DESCRIPTION

    We will read and discuss Ron Chernow’s Hamilton. Students should come to class meetings having read the assigned chapters and ready to engage in our discussion. We will discuss how Lin Manuel Miranda’s Hamilton differs from the book which inspired it. We will examine primary sources and discuss the process of writing historical biography. Students will be encouraged to share projects of their own devising: an academic paper, a creative representation of a big event in Hamilton’s life: painting, diorama, song, interpretive dance, etc.


    Required book: Hamilton by Ron Chernow
    Resources it would be nice to have: Federalist Papers, US History Survey textbook

    Pre course recommended viewing: Hamilton on Disney+

    $325; GHF, SENG, MAGE, and NHAGE Members pay $310! 

    We accept charter school funds


    • 02 Sep 2020
    • (EDT)
    • 16 Dec 2020
    • (EST)
    • 16 sessions
    • online
    • 9
    Registration is closed

    Instructor: Chris Buck

    Wednesdays at 1:00 pm Eastern, 15 weeks, starting September 2nd
    (Does not meet on November 25th)


    The overarching theme is programming as modeling, and modeling as language. For each of the following milestones, the plan is to define with the class a domain-specific language to make modifications easy.

    1) Design a self-symmetric object and use that object in a frieze or wallpaper pattern. Models include: 2D position, 2D rotation, rotational and reflectional symmetry.

    2) Recreate the Game of Life, Pong, and Asteroids. Models include: clock time, ticks, 1D and 2D automata, and user interaction.

    3) Create an animation. Models include: lighting, 3D Meshes, color, and transparency.

    • 02 Sep 2020
    • (EDT)
    • 16 Dec 2020
    • (EST)
    • 15 sessions
    • Online
    • 9
    Registration is closed

    Language Arts
    InstructorJosh Shaine
    5-10 students
    Suggested Ages: 13+ years old
    Meets: Wednesdays, 2:00 - 3:00 PM, starting September 2nd. 15 sessions.

    CLASS DESCRIPTION:

    Welcome to Science Fiction.  This genre of literature is primarily for fun – mind fun!  Essentially, the reader plays a thinking game, a game called “What if?”  The answers to that question -- which make take the form of novels, stories, scientific speculation, movies, TV shows, games, or websites – carry the reader into possibilities or impossible worlds, of when, where, what, how, who, and, of course, the most essential world of all, the world of why.


    We will discuss a broad variety of types of science fiction, while reading (hearing), watching, and looking at examples (good and bad) that illustrate those types. All materials will be available on line at no cost for people within the United States. I expect that I can make them available for others if they should not be accessible from other countries.


    We will have a few exercises along the way. Any writing or presentations you do will receive feedback. If you are willing, I would like to share it with the class.

    Regardless, the number one goal is to have fun!

    Outline:

    Session 1: Introduction; Discussion of Syllabus; Sub-genres

    Session 2: The Future as History; The Malleable Past; Exercise One: Time Capsule

    Session 3: Minorities as Oppressed Peoples; Minorities as Ruling Peoples

    Session 4: The Changing Society; The Stagnant Society

    Session 5: Religion as a Positive Force; Religion as a Negative Force; Exercise Two: The Project

    Session 6: Technology the Destroyer; Technology the Creator 

    Session 7:  The Aliens are here to save us! / The Aliens are here to enslave us (or worse)!

    Session 8:  Exercise Three: Our Own Crystal Ball

    Session 9: The Evolution of Humanity

    Session 10: The Evolution of Robots

    Session 11: The Evolution of Computers

    Session 12: The Evolution of Animals/Insects

    Session 13: The Evolution of Science Fiction

    Session 14: Students' Choice of Topic

    Session 15: Presentations; Summation


    Specific sessions may change based on students' interests.


    • 03 Sep 2020
    • (EDT)
    • 17 Dec 2020
    • (EST)
    • 15 sessions
    • Online
    • 7
    Registration is closed

    InstructorEmma Sobey
    5-10 students
    Suggested Ages: 13+ years old
    Meets:
     Thursdays, 10:00 to 11:00 am, 15 weeks. Starts Sept. 3.

    CLASS DESCRIPTION:

    “A good short story crosses the borders of our nations and our prejudices and our beliefs. A good short story asks a question that can’t be answered in simple terms.”

    --Walter Mosley

    America is a land of diversity and complexity. It is a land where many voices struggle be heard and accepted and a land where different personal experiences come together to form the fabric of American culture. In this course, we will use short stories as a jumping off point to discuss how the elements and themes within these stories encapsulate the spirit and complexity of American life while we also examine how the structure and elements of short stories function within the stories themselves. We will discover how they have come to represent American literature and its evolution as a major literary tradition. Above all, we will discuss, debate, and analyze the messages these stories offer to us as readers and how they affect our understanding of the world.

    SYLLABUS:

    Session 1—What is a short story really all about?

    Session 2—The City on a Hill: Puritan Ideology and The American Dream

    Session 3—Looking at literature through a historical lens

    Session 4—American Romanticism

    Session 5—Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark

    Session 6—Women in America

    Session 7—More Women in America

    Session 8—When the American Dream fails

    Session 9—Southern Gothic

    Session 10—Harlem Renaissance

    Session 11—American Science Fiction

    Session 12—America at War:  Vietnam and Disillusionment

    Session 13—American Diversity pt. 1

    Session 14—American Diversity pt. 2

    Session 15—Where do we go from here?


    • 03 Sep 2020
    • (EDT)
    • 17 Dec 2020
    • (EST)
    • 13 sessions
    • online
    • 12
    Registration is closed

    Instructor: Sabrina Weiss

    Days and Times Thursdays, 12:00 pm, 12 weeks, starting Sept. 3rd.

    Plus a one day add on for projects

    Course Description

    This is a rigorous reading course for Dr. Robert Sapolsky's book on stress, Why Zebras Don't Get Ulcers: the Acclaimed Guide to Stress, Stress-Related Diseases, and Coping.  This book connects to many college-preparatory topics, such as the biochemistry and neurology of stress, how we cope and manage stress, and reflects on how evolutionary adaptive biological systems can be pushed into unhealthy statuses in today's world. 

    Optional add-on includes a final project like an essay that will receive feedback and revision to a final version due 1 week after the end of the course.

    Texts

    Why Zebras Don't Get Ulcers: The Acclaimed Guide to Stress, Stress-Related Diseases, and Coping (Third Edition) - Robert M. Sapolsky

    Outline

    NOTE: Listed chapters should be read BEFORE the indicated class.  We will DISCUSS the chapter so you should have read or at least skimmed the chapter ahead of time. Please have read Chapter 1 and some of Chapter 2 before the first class!

    9/3 Introduction, Discuss Ch 1, Overview

    9/10 Ch 2 + Ch3: Glands, Gooseflesh, and Hormones

    9/17 Ch 4 + Ch 5: Metabolism and Ulcers

    9/24 Ch 6 + Ch 7: Dwarfism and Reproduction

    10/1 No class.  Discuss online 

    10/8 Ch 8 Immunity

    10/15 Ch 9 + 10: Pain, Memory

    10/22 No class. Discuss online

    10/29 Ch 11 + 12: Sleep, Aging

    11/5 Ch 13 + 14: Psychological Stress, Depression

    11/12 Ch 15 + 16: Personality, Junkies

    11/19 Ch 17: View from the Bottom

    11/26 No class. Discuss online

    12/3 Ch 18:  Managing Stress

    12/10 Review and Wrap-up


    12/17: Project Discussion


    Note: No classes on 10/1, 10/22, or 11/26.

    • 03 Sep 2020
    • (EDT)
    • 17 Dec 2020
    • (EST)
    • 16 sessions
    • Online
    Registration is closed

    Speculative Literature: Powers Beyond the Ordinary - "Super" Women and Men in Science Fiction & Fantasy

    InstructorJosh Shaine
    3-10 students
    Suggested Ages: 13+ years old
    Meets: Thursdays, 4:00pm ET, 15 sessions starting September 3rd

    CLASS DESCRIPTION:

    Science Fiction and Fantasy stories have many characters who stick out compared to others because they have more magic, different powers, unique abilities.  Are they hidden or revealed? Are they accepted, worshipped or reviled? How much difference does there have to be for a person to get noticed? We will look at how these characters are treated by the worlds in which they are set and reflect on what, if anything, this says about the society in which we live. We'll look at settings such as Star Wars, Harry Potter, and the X-Men, as well as many other works - well known and uncommon, both. During the final two sessions, students will have a chance to present their own stories about one of the characters and worlds we discussed or their own creation.


    PrerequisitesNone

    SYLLABUS:

    Speculative Literature:
    Powers Beyond the Ordinary – “Super” Women & Men in Science Fiction & Fantasy

    • 1.       Introduction: Mutants, Wizards, & Geniuses
    • 2.       The Uncanny X-Men
    • 3.       Harry, Hermione, and the Potterverse
    • 4.       Diane Duane’s Young Wizards
    • 5.       Luke, Yoda, Anakin, and Rey
    • 6.       Stephanie Tolan’s Welcome to the Ark
    • 7.       Designing Meta-humans: How much power is too much?
    • 8.       Tamora Pierce’s Circle of Magic
    • 9.       Superman vs. Batman: What makes a superhero?
    • 10.   Sherlock Holmes
    • 11.   So many super powers! Television and Movies in 2020-21
    • 12.   John Hersey’s The Child Buyer
    • 13.   Orson Scott Card’s Ender’s Game
    • 14.   Comparison and Contrast
    • 15.   Class Presentations
    • 16.   Make-up Day


    • 04 Sep 2020
    • (EDT)
    • 18 Dec 2020
    • (EST)
    • 16 sessions
    • online
    • 9
    Registration is closed

    Instructor: Josh Shaine

    Fridays at 12:30 pm Eastern, 15 weeks, starting September 4th
    (Does not meet on November 27th)


    This will be a fast moving survey of world history, covering many centuries in far too short a period. There will be opportunities for side excursions into specific periods or events for interested students. Lots of reading/listening between sessions.

    Homework will include lots of reading as well as some video­ watching. There is an additional component for those who wish to write papers or to do a project.

    1. What is History
    2. Prehistory to the Beginnings of History
    3. The Rise of Agriculture and Its Implications
    4. Money, Long Before Money
    5. Art
    6. City
    7. Religion
    8. Government
    9. Country
    10. Empire
    11. War, Religion, and Empire
    12. Invention
    13. Transportation and Trade
    14. Catastrophe and Survival
    15. One Person's Middle Ages is Another's What, Exactly?

    Recommended text to follow.

    • 18 Sep 2020
    • (EDT)
    • 13 Nov 2020
    • (EST)
    • 5 sessions
    • online
    • 13

    Instructor: Sabrina Weiss

    Days and Times Fridays, 3:00 pm, 4 sessions, 8weeks, starting Sept. 18th.

    Plus Nov. 11th for students signed up for presentations

    Ages 13 through Adult

    Course Description

    This is a reading course on Michael Pollan’s book, The Botany of Desire.  Written in 2001, 5 years before the bestseller The Omnivore’s Dilemma, this book explores the relationships between humans and plants from a social, historical, and scientific perspective.  Through the four plants discussed - the Apple, the Tulip, Marijuana, and the Potato - Pollan explores topics like sugar in our diets, economics, prohibition, and oppression. 

    This is a college-preparatory book that covers some mature topics.  We will have one live meeting every 2 weeks for each of the four sections.  With an optional add-on for a project/essay, there will be one more live session for project presentations, reflection, and discussion. 


    Texts

    The Botany of Desire by Michael Pollan
    https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/41021145-the-botany-of-desire

    Outline

    Note: Readings should be done BEFORE the class listed so we can discuss it. 

    9/18: The Apple

    10/2: The Tulip

    10/16: Marijuana

    10/30: The Potato


    11/13: Project presentation and discussion



    Note: No classes on 9/25, 10/9, 10/23, or 11/6. 11/13 is only for students taking the project option.

    • 02 Oct 2020
    • (EDT)
    • 13 Nov 2020
    • (EST)
    • 6 sessions
    • online
    • 10

    Instructor: Sabrina Weiss

    Days and Times Fridays, 1:00 pm, 6 sessions, starting Oct. 2nd.

    Plus a one day add on for projects

    Course Description

    This course will be a reading course for His Majesty’s Dragon, Naomi Novik’s outstanding fantastic historical fiction book. Imagine Napoleonic era wars fought using dragons as airships and other flying weapons. This story focuses on a particular dragon, Temeraire, who is very different from the European dragons around him, and his search for his origins with his bonded human, Captain Will Laurence.

    I found this book and the character of Temeraire to connect deeply with my own experiences growing up gifted and multicultural, and I want to share this great story with other readers and lovers of dragons.

    His Majesty’s Dragon won the 2007 Compton Crook Award for best novel in the Science Fiction/Fantasy genre during 2006 by a first-time author. Novik has gone on to write other great fiction books, including Uprooted and Spinning Silver, which are both transformative retellings of traditional fairy tales that empower heroines.

    Texts: His Majesty's Dragon by Naomi Novik


    Outline

    Oct 2 Ch 1-3

    Oct 9 Ch 4-5

    Oct 16 Ch 5-6

    Oct 23 No Class. Discuss 7-8 online

    Oct 30 Ch9 - 11

    Nov 6 Ch11 - Epilogue

    Nov 13 Full discussion, wrap-up


    Nov 20 Add-on presentations and discussion



    Note: No classes on 10/23.

    • 06 Oct 2020
    • (EDT)
    • 08 Dec 2020
    • (EST)
    • 10 sessions
    • 6
    Register

    A semi-structured relaxed time to get together, talk, play games, connect, and just be with each other, when we can't do it in person.

    Registration is by donation only; please give only if you can. Suggested donations are $5, $10. or $15 for one hour/week groups and $5, $20, and $30 for two hour per week groups. The highest amounts cover facilitator costs. Any money we get beyond paying teachers and their expenses will be donated to charities supporting vulnerable populations at this time. If you have any questions about this policy or others, please contact us at courses@giftedconferenceplanners.org.

    Tuesday, Oct 6 - Dec 8th  1pm ET - 3pm ET / 10am PT - 12pm PT 

    Game system: D&D 5th Edition. 

    Facilitator: Dr. Sabrina Weiss

    Description:  We are going to start playing D&D 5e together, giving opportunities for players to practice DMing and running games under supervision.  This campaign will involve airships and use standard character creation rules.  

    Dr. Weiss is an experienced Dungeon Master who has played for over 10 years, ran a DM help forum that focuses on problem solving and other support for people running games, and taught classes for new D&D players.  Dr. Weiss specializes in using games for learning academic and meta-cognitive skills, like self-regulation, building confidence, effective communication, teamwork, and problem-solving.  

    We will do a 2 hour session to introduce the game, assist with creating characters, and running an adventure.

    Participants should be able to use voice for faster interaction; camera is optional. 

    This will be run on Roll 20 - roll20.net - and use Discord for out of game chat. 



    • 14 Jan 2021
    • (EST)
    • 11 Mar 2021
    • (EST)
    • 5 sessions
    • online
    • 15
    Register

    Instructor: Sabrina Weiss

    Days and Times Thursdays, Noon, 4 sessions, 8weeks, starting Jan. 14th.

    Plus March 11th for students signed up for presentations

    Ages 13 through Adult

    Course Description

    This is a reading course on Michael Pollan’s book, The Botany of Desire.  Written in 2001, 5 years before the bestseller The Omnivore’s Dilemma, this book explores the relationships between humans and plants from a social, historical, and scientific perspective.  Through the four plants discussed - the Apple, the Tulip, Marijuana, and the Potato - Pollan explores topics like sugar in our diets, economics, prohibition, and oppression. 

    This is a college-preparatory book that covers some mature topics.  We will have one live meeting every 2 weeks for each of the four sections.  With an optional add-on for a project/essay, there will be one more live session for project presentations, reflection, and discussion. 


    Texts

    The Botany of Desire by Michael Pollan
    https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/41021145-the-botany-of-desire

    Outline

    Note: Readings should be done BEFORE the class listed so we can discuss it. 

    1/14: Sweetness: The Apple

    1/28: Beauty:The Tulip

    2/11: Intoxication: Marijuana

    2/25: Control: The Potato


    3/11: Presentations (only for optional add-on)



    Note: No classes on 1/21, 2/4, 2/18, or 3/4. 3/11 is only for students taking the project option.

    • 15 Jan 2021
    • (EST)
    • 07 May 2021
    • (EDT)
    • 17 sessions
    • online
    • 15
    Register

    Instructor: Sabrina Weiss

    Days and Times Fridays, 1:00 pm, 12 weeks, starting Jan. 15th.

    Plus a one day add on for projects

    Course Description

    This is a rigorous reading course for Dr. Robert Sapolsky's book on stress, Why Zebras Don't Get Ulcers: the Acclaimed Guide to Stress, Stress-Related Diseases, and Coping.  This book connects to many college-preparatory topics, such as the biochemistry and neuroscience of stress, how we cope and manage stress, and reflects on how evolutionary adaptive biological systems can be pushed into unhealthy statuses in today's world.

    All students should obtain a copy of this book and read the sections listed BEFORE the live meeting.  So by 1/15, you should read the Introduction and Ch. 1 and come ready to discuss. 

    Optional add-on includes a final project like an essay or video. There will be an extra live meeting for optional add-on students to present and discuss projects.


    Texts

    Why Zebras Don't Get Ulcers: The Acclaimed Guide to Stress, Stress-Related Diseases, and Coping (Third Edition) - Robert M. Sapolsky

    Outline

    NOTE: Listed chapters should be read BEFORE the indicated class.  We will DISCUSS the chapter so you should have read or at least skimmed the chapter ahead of time. Please have read Chapter 1 and some of Chapter 2 before the first class!

    1/15 Introduction, Discuss Ch 1, Overview


    1/22 Ch 2 + Ch3: Glands, Gooseflesh, and Hormones


    1/29 No class


    2/5 Ch 4 + Ch 5: Metabolism and Ulcers


    2/12 Ch 6 + Ch 7: Dwarfism and Reproduction


    2/19 Ch 8: Immunity 


    2/26 No class


    3/5  Ch 9 + 10: Pain, Memory


    3/12 Ch 11 + 12: Sleep, Aging


    3/19 Ch 13 + 14: Psychological Stress, Depression


    3/26 No Class


    4/2 Ch 15 + 16: Personality, Junkies


    4/9 Ch 17: View from the Bottom


    4/16 Ch 18:  Managing Stress


    4/23 Review and Wrap-up


    4/30 No Class


    5/7 Project Discussion


    Note: No classes on 1/29, 2/26, 3/26, or 4/30.

    • 25 Jan 2021
    • (EST)
    • 10 May 2021
    • (EDT)
    • 16 sessions
    • Online
    • 12
    Register

    Mathematical Explorations: Advanced Math Problem Posing

    Instructor: Lisa Fontaine-Rainen

    When: Mondays, 11:00 - Noon; 15 weeks, starts Jan. 25th.

    CLASS DESCRIPTION:

    Mathematics is too often only about finding the right answer.  Is that really what mathematicians do all day?  Of course not.  One cannot discover new mathematics by simply finding the “right” answer. 

    In this class we’ll deep dive down all our rabbit holes.  Each week we will choose one problem (probably a problem of the week from somewhere, so that if you so choose you can submit your work to them).   Yes, we’ll solve it, but that’s only the beginning.  Then we’ll explore it, interrogate it, consider where it can lead us, how we can deepen it, what else we might do with it.  The whole point will be to problem pose, to think like mathematicians, to learn math from our own explorations and ideas, and to discover how to challenge ourselves. 

    Students in this class should have facility with variables, ideally having completed an algebra curriculum. 

    Come ready to have opinions (in math!), to wish to explore, and ready to discover!

     

    A week by week syllabus can be provided by request after the class, as student input on the problems each week will determine the topics.


    • 25 Jan 2021
    • (EST)
    • 10 May 2021
    • (EDT)
    • 16 sessions
    • online
    • 10
    Register

    Instructor: Sherene Raisbeck

    Suggested ages: 8-11 (not for junior high)

    Mondays, 11:30am to 1:00pm Eastern time, starting January 25th

    NOTE: In the past, this course has been offered over two terms. We are offering it as a single term course with each meeting running 75-90 minutes. We believe this pace better serves our gifted students.

    Aristotle Leads the Way is the first of three works by Joy Hakim that present the major scientific innovations within the context of work performed by Aristotle, Newton, Einstein, and work which continues in theoretical physics.

    Learning how to observe the world, investigate ideas and sources, and find out what’s really true, are important skills for new scholars! Students develop a rich understanding of the science presented by tracing the historical context and experiments of the greatest thinkers in Western as well as Eastern scientific thought.

    As the first part of The Story of Science series, this class is an excellent foundation for further advanced work in science, mathematics, and computer science. It lays a foundation for Newton at the Center and Einstein Adds a New Dimension. In addition, the story-based instruction utilized will enhance retention for students who are not scientifically oriented. Over the course of the term, we will measure the circumference of the earth, the distance to the moon, and lay the foundations for atomic theory!

    Tests, homework, and grades are provided optionally and may be graded at home or by the instructor. We fully support 2e students and will tailor testing, homework, and class participation so that it is low stress and meaningful for each student. Students do need to be able to do simple multiplication with ratios.

    While some experiments are repeated from the Einstein and Newton courses, students will encounter them on a different level. These courses do NOT need to be taken in a particular order.

    Find the Aristotle Leads the Way book here.

    Please note that this is a one semester course


    • 25 Jan 2021
    • (EST)
    • 03 May 2021
    • (EDT)
    • 15 sessions
    • On Line
    • 15
    Register

    Josh Shaine, instructor

    Mondays, 3-4pm, ET, starting on January 25th.

    It was the best of courses, it was the worst of courses. In this class, we will read original works of fiction and poetry and the pieces that make fun of them or turn them on their heads. We will read pieces that are mocking entire genres. We will watch films that spoof more famous films and listen to music that skewers everything from specific pieces to entire periods. And we will look at cartoons and how they describe the petty foibles of humans through caricature. Along the way, we will attempt to write our own pieces of parody and satire and maybe even make a cartoon or film, depending on how ambitious we are feeling! Among works we may use are The Tough Guide to Fantasyland, The Brand X Anthologies of Poetry and Prose, The Daily Show, In Like Flint, Blazing Saddles, and many others, depending on the tastes, times, and talents of the students in the class.

    This course is intended for students age 13 and up.

    Syllabus


     Our own Parodies and Satires!

    Date

     Plan for the day

    Session 1

     Definitions and Differences, Exploration of Syllabus, Some early satire

    Session 2

     Fiction: Bored of the Rings, The Wind Done Gone, and more

    Session 3

     Music: Lehrer, PDQ Bach, Anna Russell, Filk, and more

    Session 4

     Movies: Airplane, Spinal Tap, A Mighty Wind, and more

    Session 5

     Comedians: Steven Wright, Jon Steward, Keegan-Michael Key, and more

    Session 6

     Cartoonists from Ancient Egypt to the Present

    Session 7

     Poems, Plays, and Other Printed Matter

    Session 8

     How to Craft Your Own Parody and/or Satire, Part 1

    Session 9 

     More Fiction

    Session 10

     More Music

    Session 11

     More Poems and Other Printed Matter
    Session 12  More Comedians
    Session 13  How to Craft Your Own, Part 2
    Session 14  Students' Choice of Topic
    Session 15  Our own Satires!

     Potential make-up day

    All times are U.S. East Coast.


    • 25 Jan 2021
    • (EST)
    • 03 May 2021
    • (EDT)
    • 15 sessions
    • online
    • 10
    Register

    Instructor: Sherene Raisbeck

    Mondays, 7:00pm - 8:30pm, starting January 25th

    Hey! I'm supposed to be getting $10/hour! How come my check is for $287.46? You need HOW MUCH?!? to retire? Can I really save a million dollars?!? I found a great apartment and awesome roommates! Can I afford it? What should I know about my roommates? They seem nice and that's enough, right? Taxes? Everyone is talking about what they are doing with their refund, how do I get mine? What do you mean my account is overdrawn? I still have checks! 

    These topics and many more will be covered as we touch on all the ways money affects the lives of responsible (and irresponsible) adults. We will talk about earning, saving, spending and investing $$$$. Budgets, borrowing, credit reports, taxes, retirement accounts, charitable giving, etc. Job applications to rental agreements we'll talk about the $$. We'll work with real world numbers for several different life stages and economic classes. All ages welcome, adults too! Please sign up for a class with your age range as I do have a somewhat different focus with students 14 and younger than with those closer to financial independence.

    No textbooks fo